Sunday, May 10, 2015

What I Learned From [Almost] Running a Retreat

For the last several years, I've had this big idea to start a Christian young adults retreat in the Pacific Northwest. Last August, I finally made the jump from being a talker to a doer and started planning out the event. Over the past 6 months, I lined up speakers, figured out the meal situation, made a list of activities, brief sermon outlines to help give the pastors an idea of what the theme would be, and even reserved a campground. All was in place but one thing: people. Turns out folks between the ages of 18 and 28 are all either too busy or too tight on funds to be able to spend $255 on a four-day retreat. Thus, Camp Center Lane met it's demise.

People said they were sorry I wasted so much time creating a camp only to have it fall through in the end. I am not. This is why...

12 Things I learned:

1.) Never be too scared to talk about your ideas.

I was surprised how supportive people were! Despite my fears, it turns out nobody thought I was too inept to do what I had in mind. They offered lots of help and great suggestions.

2.) The importance of prioritizing.

Planning is important, but so is knowing what order to plan things. Tackle the most immediate issues first (in my case, find willing pastors, then reserve a location, then go to planning the daily retreat schedule of events, ect.).

3.) People get busy; don't be afraid of giving the occasional reminder.

As long as you're nice about it and don't ask too frequently, it gives you peace of mind and usually the other person appreciates it and understands.

4.) Listen to people's questions and comments.

A different perspective can prove useful, whether you think you need help or not.

5.) The power of networking.

A friend I made in an online group was my most helpful ally on this project. Always be branching out your ring of acquaintances.

6.) The importance of time management.

Setting realistic goals for completing tasks helps things get done in a good time frame and often with less stress.

7.) Break big goals down into little goals.

What steps are necessary for your idea to happen? What order must they be done in?

8.) People appreciate when you reach out to them personally.

Whether it furthers your idea or not, make an effort to initiate and keep contact with your friends and cohorts. You never know what benefits can happen for either of you as a result of your effort.

9.) Be passionate about your idea.

If you really love and support what you're working on, all that work doesn't feel like work.

10.) Do not fear failure.

One of the main reasons it was hard for me to share my idea at first was "What if I get rejected?", followed by, "What if my idea fails and I look lame?" Well, it's worse to never try than to never know.

11.) If your idea fails, learn from it anyway!

Analyze why it failed. Should you try again? Scale it down? Remodel the idea? And what new knowledge can you take from the experience to use in your life?

12.) Nothing is a waste.

Trust God- whatever situation He has placed you in, He is using it to bring about His ultimate glory.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Shut Up & Google It.

Lately I've been considering the impact technology has had on the social aspect of our lives.

In the library, I have seen our modern tech be both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, it enables people to easily search out what books exist on their chosen topic and figure out roughly where to find them at. It also tells them if it is in their current library, or if another nearby library possesses their desired literature. On the other hand, it turns otherwise polite and quiet patrons into almost-shouting cell phone users and can often hamper people's study time with unnecessary distractions.

Over all, modern technology can be a great advantage, allowing us to contact our friends at a moment's notice and arrange meet ups. It can let people from small, isolated towns get to know a wide array of other people, and it allows friends to keep in touch despite being miles apart.

But one thing I have noticed at times: social learning seems to be declining. At one point in time, you would find a friend or relative who knew a lot about a particular thing, and you would ask them about it. They might give you a verbal description or teach you in a hands-on style. It could be a fantastic way to get a conversation started and strengthen a friendship (or maybe forge a new one!).

Nowadays? I've had a good number of times when I try to ask someone about a topic they are proficient in and in return I am told "Why are you asking me? Just Google it."

Internet searches are always around. Technology will always be advancing. Your friends and acquaintances, however, are likely to move on at some point. Is it a waste of time to have a conversation with someone who is genuinely interested in the things you do or know? I think not. You might be just the help and encouragement they need- and you know what? There is always a chance that they could be the same to you too, if you just take the time.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Paged: Back Online!

Well, it has been quite a hiatus here on Paged! No worries, I am still happily employed in my local library. It has just been a crazy few months what with balancing both part and full time employments, friends, family, and suchnot. But beyond that note, I hope to return to more regular blogging now.

What to expect:

* A new series! I will be making weekly "Reading List" posts. This will be a lot like my Book of The Week posts, only with the disclaimer of me not having actually read them. I see TONS of books every day that look extremely fascinating, but I just do not always have time to bring them all home. This segment will allow you to discover new books right along side me, and will also give me a convenient place to keep my future reading list.

*Book of The Week will probably not be weekly, simply because I do not have time these days to read enough books to keep up with posting reviews that frequently. I will however still call it "Book of The Week"-- hey, I will still be posting them at times within the normal Sunday-Saturday weekdays, am I not? ;)  (plus, trying to name/tag posts with honest time frames would wind up sounding strange).

*Occasional cat photos. Ok, I know, I failed to get all of the kitten photos uploaded as they grew up (I do however have the photos, if you so desire for me to still post them). However, we still have Carmen and one of her now-grown kittens, Mikey. I will henceforth post random updates on Mikey, because he has turned out to be quite the character; I hope he will be as entertaining to you as he is to us and our patrons!

*Other fun! I have some ideas for other media that I may post up throughout the year. Be on the watch. Photos and videos will pop up around here sooner or later.

I hope after such a long break that some of you are still with me. If you are, thank you for being a loyal friend and continuing to follow my library adventures! If you've come to enjoy my posts, please feel free to share them with your friends (conversely, if you really hate them, feel free to share them with your enemies).

Take care, all!

PS: If I begin to fail on posting regular updates, send along some comments to whip me back into shape ;)

Friday, August 1, 2014

Frozen Fridays #11

I thought making popsicles out of soda would be a good idea, so I poured my can of Dr.Pepper into the mold to give it a shot. The flavor was great, the texture I enjoyed, but I learned the hard way that soda expands much more than any other substance I've used so far:


Dr. Pepper

Friday, July 25, 2014

Frozen Fridays #10

It's classic, and it had to be done. Orange creamsickles!
I was given the interesting idea of using orange creamsicle soda pop mixed with half and half for these. The orange soda was cheaper than buying oranges or orange juice, although probably not as healthy. Sure tasted yummy, though!

Half & Half
Orange cream soda

Friday, July 18, 2014

Frozen Fridays #9

Out of all my popsicles, I've been the happiest with the texture of this one. A deliciously soft combination of blueberries, greek yogurt, and vanilla, inspired by a bowl of leftover blueberries that I found sitting out on the counter.

1 personal sized container of greek yogurt
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
Vanilla creamer

Throw everything together in the blender, add enough milk to make it a smoothie consistency, and put in four vanilla flavored coffee creamers. Yum!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Frozen Fridays #8

Odd as it sounds, this week's popsicle was inspired by a candle. Yes, a candle.

My boyfriend bought me a watermelon-lemonade Bath & Body Works candle a little ways back. It smells FANASTIC. So, I got to thinking, how would this taste in a popsicle? Well, to answer my own question, it tastes quite nice. It's a delicious and refreshing blend! Interestingly, you get more of the flavor when you suck on it than when you bite it. I guess it's sort of like how Otter Pops work.

Anyhow, this one is certainly worth a try in this hot July weather!

Lemon Juice

First make the lemonade. I squirted lemon juice into a cup of water and kept taste testing (with a spoon) until it seemed lemon-y enough, then added sugar. After this I cut up several good sized chunks of watermelon (no rind) and put it in the blender with the lemonade. Then it went into the popsicle mold and into the freezer!

For those of you who may be too impatient to wait for the popsicles to freeze, I suggest making some cups of this just for drinking. It's really quite delicious :)